Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book

Apr 9, 2015Apr 10, 2015
Burr Hall, Room 219
  • Department of French and Italian
  • Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
  • Princeton University Graduate School
  • Council of the Humanities
  • Program in Judaic Studies
  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Department of English
  • Department of Comparative Literature
  • Department of Art and Archaeology
  • Program in American Studies
  • University Center for Human Values
  • Center for the Study of Religion
Event Description
Drawings of Miriam Katin, Rutu Modan, Miriam Libicki, Liana Finck

Miriam Katin, Rutu Modan, Miriam Libicki, Liana Finck. From a poster by Jonathan Rotsztain/All Caps Design

“Frames: Jewish Culture and the Comic Book” seeks to bring together scholars and artists in discussing the interchange of Jewish culture and the comic book. As a medium, the comic book has often been overlooked in its literary capacities and often been tragically relegated to a purely “comic” — or entertaining — form. However, recent shifts in comic consciousness demonstrate a newfound interest in discussing and analyzing the comic book as a distinct mode of representation — as an intersection of text and image.

This conference hopes to address the features particular to the comic book and how these features reflect and inflect, as well as reveal and conceal, Jewish traditions and identities. Drawing on the shift initiated by the underground comix movement, the comic book has progressively questioned its own limits. And, if comics are a “window into the thinking process of the artist,“ what can these significantly displaced, erased and contested “frame works” inform us about Jewish identity? How do the frames (and their subversions) of the comic book form offer a new window through which Jewish culture and Jewish identity can be understood? The conference will shed light on the roles Jews and Jewish culture have long played in the comic world: From the birth of the modern comic book to present-day representations of Jewishness; from Jewish-American superhero comics to domestic and international visions of Israel and the Jewish diaspora.